One of the initiatives at BLTC Press is a sub-brand called “GoodMountain Books”. Right now these titles are only available on the Amazon site for Kindle, but will be showing up here for Sony and non-DRM availability soon.
Anyway, the principle is — let’s embrace and acknowledge Project Gutenberg as the source of many (most) public domain titles published as ebooks. Typically, the Project Gutenberg attribution is ripped out of the text, as its use entails a trademark license and some somewhat onerous additional requirements, e.g., inclusion of their (hopelessly verbose) trademark license, the commitment to make the “raw text” available, and of course, payment of a trademark royalty (20%).
On the other hand, production of an ebook from existing source text such Project Gutenberg source is … pretty easy. Not so easy, however, that many (most?) of the (for example) public domain titles on Mobipocket/Kindle are less than elegant productions — some of the are simply a cut and paste yielding what I refer to as a long scroll of toliet paper — no chapter headings, no linked table of contents, etc.
Meanwhile, the tagline for GoodMountain books is “Premium editions of Project Gutenberg (TM) etexts”. Imagine my dismay then when a review showed up for my “Wuthering Heights” which was, to say the least, withering (wuthering?). Apparently the chief complaint was that the text was right (full) justified — which in fact, it isn’t and further, I don’t believe it’s possible to force right justification in a Kindle book — they’re designed to “flow”. The USER can however select left or full justified using the “J” key (secret option) when the font key is pressed. The reviewer also complained that there was too much space between paragraphs (which, for some obscure reason, in the build as published there WERE an extra blank between paragraphs).
Well, I posted a rebuttal and an invitation for the reviewer to contact me and explain what the heck their expeience was, because on my Kindle, it looks fine — the way I intended. (I have however since updated with the extra blanks removed).
Not a good start to a brand intended to be about quality. When purchasing a public domain book (especially one that is available in raw text, at least, for free from Project Gutenberg), the ONLY thing worth paying for is the quality of the formatting/packaging. One should ALWAYS use the “download preview” option when purchasing any public domain work published in multiple editions and shop for the best. I don’t know why this reviewer didn’t do that, but I hope that in future, despite this particular review, those who compare BLTC Press and GoodMountain titles (either the free downloads or Amazon Kindle samples) will find them worth the price.
I am looking for the best mechanism to process customer comments on the books, especially formatting editing and transcription corrections.